A Healthy & Safe Sustainable Community Equity Policy Initiative of the California Walks Network
Achieving Walkable Communities for Health (AWCH) is funded by The California Endowment to advance health in transportation and land use policy, including the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS)decision-making mandated by SB 375, to reverse California’s childhood obesity epidemic. The California Walks Network also prepared a series of case studies, collecting information and best practices from around California to advance walkability and pedestrian safety.
The California Walks Network, in collaboration with local and regional partners, have successfully:
Increased Investments in Active Transportation
- At the state level, the Cal Walks Network was involved in the successful settlement and ongoing implementation of 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Caltrans lawsuit to provide ADA-accessible sidewalks and crossings on state highway system—resulting in a new Caltrans ADA Infrastructure Program with dedicated pedestrian safety funding of $1.1 billion over 30 years. This Program represents the largest single increase in statewide pedestrian investment in Caltrans history;
- At the regional level, through RTP/SCS processes:
- San Diego Region: An increase in active transportation investment to 2.1% of the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) adopted 2011 RTP/SCS (from 0.7% in the 2007 RTP), representing a 200% uncommitted funds increase allocated to active transportation funding. SANDAG also established an Early Action Program (EAP) to prioritize active transportation investments for programming, construction, and implementation;
- Sacramento Region: A 6.5% increase per capita in bicycle and pedestrian investments in the adopted Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Regional Transportation Plan (RTP)/Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), totaling 8% of SACOG’s overall budget;
- Southern California Region: Establishment of Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Active Transportation Department and dedicated Subcommittee (announced at Peds!Count 2012);
- San Francisco Bay Area: Adoption of an Equity, Environment, Justice SCS Scenario and health and safety performance measures by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) through our work with the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network; and
- Kern County: Kern Council of Governments (KernCOG) sponsorship of state Safe Routes to School grants, increased Title VI equity engagement, adoption of a Complete Streets policy, and approval of expanded public transit and bicycle networks.
Shaped & Broadcasted the Healthy & Safe Community Transportation Equity Message by:
- Developing a broad-based sustainable community equity collaboration for all Californians: Six Wins for Social Equity Network;
- Framing the Healthy & Safe Communities Network policy platform, bringing together health, safety, access and environment, with pedestrian safety, clean air, and environmental justice advocates for improved health outcomes; and
- Developing a healthy, safe, & walkable communities messaging toolkit.
Elevated Community Resident Voices in Policymaking as the Key to Sustainable Change by:
- Building advocacy capacity of individuals and groups within the Cal Walks Network;
- Committing with the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) and its 900,000 members to advance pedestrian safety as a priority statewide;
- Advocating for transportation investment and accounting transparency. This effort has led to the implementation of Caltrans active transportation investment tracking within its Maintenance Division and publicly available, easy-to-understand transportation funding overview documents; and
- Growing California Walks Youth Leaders Video Voice Mapping & Social Media Communication Team.
Advanced State, Regional, & Local Policies to Increase Walking including:
- Caltrans Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan;
- Adoption of Active Transportation as a primary strategy to promote healthy communities by the Strategic Growth Council‘s Health in All Policies Task Force;
- Inclusion of sidewalk, curb extension, pedestrian safety island and crossing standards and guidelines in the Caltrans’ Complete Streets update to the Highway Design Manual (HDM), in collaboration with CARA. This change strengthens the design of intersections for the safety and accessibility of pedestrians;
- Approval of rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) as a proven safety countermeasure—a technology demonstrated to substantially increase driver yield rates at unsignalized crossings in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices;
- Creation of and appointment of two new public member seats to the California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC)—which advises Caltrans on standards for traffic signs, signals and pavement markings—in order to represent all roadway users’ perspectives (in collaboration with the California Bicycle Coalition);
- Making Street Crossing Safer a California Street Safety priority through the Caltrans Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) (Challenge Area 8); and
- Equitable implementation of Safe Routes to School.
- Seniors Taking Timely Action in Alhambra (Cal Walks)
- Southern Humboldt Photovoice Project (Cal Walks/HumPAL)
- The State of Street Design in San Diego County (Cal Walks/WalkSanDiego)
- Building a Healthy & Safe Communities Workforce with California Walks Youth Leaders (Cal Walks)
- Walk Toward Economic Stability: Walkability and Home Values in Sacramento (WALKSacramento)
- Economic Benefits of Walkability: A Case Study in La Jolla, CA (WalkSanDiego)